Yes, Watson’s approach correlated with team success.

The Texans were 3-3 in the six games that Watson started and 1-9 in the games that he didn’t. Thus, the team should want his production to be optimized, because clearly their success rides upon his.

Was Watson lucky or unusually hot? Perhaps a bit, if you get into the details. Watson had a passing touchdown rate of 9.3 percent, while Wentz led qualified passers at 7.5 percent. Watson averaged one touchdown pass every 6.6 completions, while the league average was 14.8. The Texans owned the third-lowest drop percentage during the first half of the season, while in the second half they were 10th. And Watson demonstrated an almost preternatural connection with Will Fuller V, connecting with him on five long touchdowns in a three-week span.

However, and this is important, Watson’s success level in these types of big plays wasn’t that unusual overall, as he completed 41.4 percent of deep passes (15-plus air yards) while the league average was 41.3 percent. Plus, the Texans ranked 25th in percentage of plays that were designed passes in the first half of the season, and if they increase that volume this season, it could counter or possibly offset any concerns that his efficiency might regress.

Following Saturday’s news that the Yankees could be without righty starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (hamstring strains in both legs) for weeks, Rothschild was asked what he’s thought of Sheffield’s progress since getting promoted from Double-A.

It’s an adjustment, the pitching coach said before the Yankees faced the Mets at Citi Field. Video doesn’t tell you everything and I didn’t get to see the game from (Friday) night, but I think he’s made improvements and it’s an adjustment. It’s step by step and he’s still fairly young. But he’s very competitive and he’s going to figure it out.

Recently, Triple-A manager Bobby Mitchell said he believed that while Sheffield isn’t far off from being big-league ready, the Tennessee native still needs more work in the minors.

In the lead-up to Super Bowl LI, Belichick noted that Shanahan’s offenses called to mind those of Mike Shanahan, Kyle’s father, whom Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young once hailed as the greatest play caller.

The Mets seem more willing to move Syndergaard and are asking for a package the Yankees likely aren’t willing to meet for deGrom.

So what could a potential Syndergaard to the Yankees deal look like? Bleacher Report put together a trade involving four of the best Yankees prospects, including center fielder Estevan Florial. The others: RHP Luis Medina, RHP Cody Carroll, OF Billy McKinney. That package includes four of the top 16 prospects in the Yankees system.

Syndergaard, 25, on the mend from a finger injury, owns a 3.06 ERA in 11 games started this season. Since debuting in 2015, Syndergaard has posted a 2.92 ERA and 5.94 SO/BB ratio across 428.2 innings.

Adding Mets stud righty Noah Syndergaard would go over well in the Yankees ‘ clubhouse, his former teammate said.

If he were to be an addition to our team, Yankees infielder Neil Walker said Tuesday in the clubhouse at Yankee Stadium, it would be well-received.

But some simple math tells you the Red Sox have played six more games than the Yankees this season.

Is Nationals’ Bryce Harper to Yankees realistic?

According to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe, that gap, plus the remaining games on the schedule, could work in the favor of the Red Sox:

New York will pick up two games on Monday with a doubleheader against Washington while the Sox enjoy a day off here. But not counting the All-Star break, the Sox have 11 scheduled days off remaining and the Yankees nine.

That may not sound like a big deal, but the Sox can use those days to build in extra rest for their starting pitchers and/or reconfigure the rotation to create more favorable matchups.

In addition, the Sox are done with West Coast games and the Yankees have six in September. The Yankees also have two more doubleheaders scheduled (July 9 at Baltimore and Aug. 25 at Baltimore) and the Sox so far none.

The teams have four series remaining against each other, two in each city. But there are seven games at Fenway Park and six at Yankee Stadium. The last three games of the season are Fenway.

Jarvis Landry: Ryan Tannehill and I didn’t have a good relationship

Browns receiver Jarvis Landry sounds happy to be out of Miami, and to be catching passes from a quarterback other than Ryan Tannehill.

That support has meant a lot to Anderson. Now he has to make sure the team doesn’t look foolish for not cutting bait.

That’s why I’m working hard and giving it my all, because I know they believe in me and I know they’re behind me through whatever, he said.

The Jets have been hit with a spate of player arrests recently — two on drunken-driving charges in the past five months, and seven arrests overall in the past 13 months.

Former Dallas Cowboys defensive end and alleged domestic abuser Greg Hardy is officially a UFC fighter.

Competing on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series in Las Vegas, Hardy, 29, won his UFC contract in his first-ever professional MMA fight by knocking out fellow NFL alum Austen Lane in just 57 seconds. The fight was contested in the heavyweight division.

But there has been the argument since he missed last season with a broken wrist, he shouldn’t get an extension just yet.

There is also the issue of free agency — for Johnson to become an unrestricted free agent in 2019, he needs a fourth accrued season. If he holds out and doesn’t report to the Cardinals 30 days before the season begins, then he will only have accrued three seasons and would become a restricted free agent in 2019.

Last year’s line was not close. Flowers and Bobby Hart sat together on one side of the locker room, surrounded by defensive players. Center Weston Richburg was on the same side of the room as Hart and Flowers but isolated from all the other offensive linemen. Justin Pugh, John Jerry and Brett Jones were grouped together on the other side of the room. The group was fractured, did not enjoy socializing together.

There were a lot of things going on last year, Ellison said of the 2017 offensive line.

Haslam son-in-law joins Browns as an executive vice president

A man known for firing employees perhaps too quickly has a new employee whom it will be harder to fire.

Via wkyc.com, the son-in-law of Browns owner Jimmy Haslam will join the team as an executive vice president. And so JW Johnson will move his family to Cleveland and assume an active role in the team.

Per the report, a spokesperson for the Browns confirmed the move, explaining that Jimmy and co-owner Dee Haslam hope to make it more of a family business, very much in line with the structure of other NFL franchises.

When I had my son, I really locked in, knowing I need to do this for him, and for myself also, Latimer said. It’s a blessing just to be in the NFL. I learned. It don’t last long, man. I’m grateful to have made it this far in and have the opportunity still. When he got here, changes had to be made, man.

Very few foul ball catches will be able to top this.

Davidson’s is one of a growing number of podcasts hosted by MLB players. And like the men who play the game, each one has its own flair.

The idea for Davidson’s came during the White Sox fan fest in January, when Davidson got up on stage with TV play-by-play announcer Jason Benetti and the two started fielding questions from fans and joking with each other.

The two enjoy what he called playful bickering during their near-daily interactions at the ballpark, so it was natural that their good-natured ribbing on stage would be a hit with fans. That event gave Davidson, who said he usually only listens to fitness podcasts, an idea to start his own show, with Benetti as his co-host.

I will be ready to play and pursue another championship with our team and for patriots fans around the world, Edelman wrote.

After missing all of last season with an ACL tear, the 5-foot-10 wide receiver was a highly anticipated return for the 2018 season. The Patriots would have to face Houston, Jacksonville, Detroit and Miami without Edelman if the appeal fails.

Sam Darnold minicamp takeaways

The Jets are rolling with Josh McCown, Teddy Bridgewater, and Sam Darnold as their quarterbacks in that order, for now. There is a three-man competition for the starting job, after the Jets took Darnold third overall in the 2018 NFL Draft.

The Jets traded up from sixth to third in the draft, in order to select Darnold. That trade-up move was the first sign that Hackenberg was finished with the Jets.

In the footage, he repeatedly tells the officers the driver was crazy and trying to kidnap him, and driving 100 miles per hour. He’s trying to kill me me, this guy, Dykstra says.

Originally, the bill would have blocked any facility from opening a sports book if its owners had a 10 percent stake or greater in a professional sports team.

That would have affected the Golden Nugget, which is owned by Tilman Fertitta, who also owns the Houston Rockets of the NBA.

But under the amendment, that casino would be barred only from accepting bets on NBA games, according to a source.

Will they figure out a way to meet in the middle, coming up with a deal that satisfies both sides? It’s certainly in the best interests of both to do so. As far as salary cap implications go, the Giants would have some work to do in order to make the first year of the kind of extension Beckham is seeking — $18 million per season is a reasonable starting point and go up from there — but it can be done with some maneuvering. It’s even possible to lower Beckham’s cap hit in 2018 if necessary.

Beckham appears to understand the end game here: The Giants hold all the cards, even if he gets to the point where holding out could be the only way to force the issue. That strategy won’t sit well with Beckham the competitor, and there’s no doubt the brand he has built with Nike and others and his pop star popularity are far greater when he can show off his remarkable talent on the field.

Plus, Beckham will never hit the market if the Giants want to prevent that from happening because they can use the franchise tag for, at the very least, the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

There will be a time when a line may get drawn in the sand, but that time isn’t now.

Giants sign tight end Scott Simonson, waive Aaron Davis

The New York Giants signed former Carolina Panthers and Oakland Raiders right end Scott Simonson on Tuesday ahead of the start of their mandatory veteran mini-camp. Simonson has played in 18 career games and started one game for the Panthers in 2016.

Stafford chuckled, like someone who has played the game for a while.

I understand this time of year, there’s nothing to write and talk about for you guys, in terms of final scores of games, Stafford said. I understand you guys are trying to compare this year to last year, but we’re focused on now. We’re a different team, we got different players, got different coaches, gotta go out there and make it work.

Via SportsBusiness Daily, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in an annual state of the league press conference that there’s no reason to change the state of the league’s rule that players must stand for the anthem.

The NFL is in a very different situation than the NBA, Silver said. Twenty-five percent of our league is comprised of players who aren’t American. So it’s hard to say in the case of the NBA it’s about patriotism, when a quarter of our players aren’t even American. But we’ve collectively viewed it as a moment of unity in our arenas.

That’s kind of a weird explanation, frankly. The more accurate truth is that, in the aftermath of Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf refusing to stand for the anthem more than 20 years ago, the NBA swooped in and negotiated an agreement with the NBA Players Association to make standing mandatory. End of problem.

Which is precisely what the NFL should have done. But the NFL doesn’t enjoy the kind of relationship with the NFL Players Association that would be conducive to a quick and easy win-win outcome, and the league surely didn’t want to get squeezed into making a concession to players in order to make the problem go away in August 2016.

NFL rumors: Another ex-Cowboys star goes to bat for Dez Bryant

jets_099Still no news on where ex-Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant will sign for the 2018 season.

Dallas released Bryant in April, and he remains unsigned as teams wrap up their OTA workouts and minicamps.

Earlier this week, former Cowboys defensive back Deion Sanders pleaded for Dallas to re-sign Bryant.

Players delivered political messages that put the less eloquent governmental leaders who attack them to shame.

The NFL is this beautiful microcosm of a melting pot, said center Jason Kelce, last seen by Eagles fans delivering brimstone oratory in a sequined Mummers costume during the Super Bowl parade. You’ve got guys from all over the country, from different walks of life. And we all try to put those differences aside, get on the field and do something greater than yourself.

We come together to develop empathy and sympathy for each other. To develop the ability to work together. Quite frankly, I think our country could follow that a little more.

And players debunked any notion that the Eagles were somehow trying to stick it to the White House as a way to get attention.

Crazy play to end the game, you don’t often see it end that way, Mariners manager Scott Servais said. Haniger had a nice recovery, made a very accurate throw and as a catcher, got to make sure he catches the ball.

I’m just going to take every day as it comes and put him on this course of recovery and strengthening for the next three weeks and then deal with what we’ve got to deal with in three weeks’ time, Eppler said.

The one-day-at-a-time plan is the only thing right now that is certain when it comes to Ohtani’s fate.Harper hits 19th homer and Nats hold off Giants 7-5

Nationals: Scherzer (10-1, 1.95) struck out 10 in six innings in an April 25 victory at San Francisco.Casey Mize is the clear No. 1 prize in the MLB draft

The Chicago Bears made headlines all offseason. A new head coach, big-name free agents and a widely praised draft class has drawn comparisons to the Los Angeles Rams efforts that led to a miraculous turnaround and playoff berth in only one season.

Pirates’ Josh Harrison misses game because of personal matter

jets_098Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman and leadoff hitter Josh Harrison is missing a game against the Chicago Cubs because of a personal matter, according to manager Clint Hurdle.

A two-time All-Star, Harrison is batting .290 with two homers and 13 RBIs in 30 games. He missed five weeks because of a broken left pinkie before returning last month.

Sean Rodriguez started at second base, and shortstop Jordy Mercer led off on Saturday. The Pirates had lost 10 of 13 games.

Graziano: Dallas Cowboys. They have been the team most closely connected with Thomas, and they still have a need at the position. The Cowboys wouldn’t part with their second-round pick in the draft without knowing for sure whether they could sign him long-term, and maybe now that Thomas is exerting some leverage on the Seahawks, their patience could end up paying off, and they can get him for less.

Cessa, a 26-year-old right-hander, pitched four innings over three relief appearances in early April, then went on the disabled list with a left oblique strain.

In his first outing since April 17, Cessa gave up three hits and four walks, allowing a run-scoring forceout and an RBI single. He threw 19 of 46 pitches for strikes.

New York is looking for starting pitching. No. 5 starter Jordan Montgomery had Tommy John surgery last week and Masahiro Tanaka will be sidelined for at least several weeks after injuring both hamstrings running the bases Friday.

Before that plan could be put into action, a lot of boxes had to be checked. If you’re just doing a salute to something, you can pretty much do it however you want, says Smorol. But if you’re going to change your name on the field, you have to go through all these approvals. First we had to talk to the team’s ownership group and make sure they were on board. Once they said yes, we had to talk to the Brannock Device Company and get them on board. And then we explained the whole thing to Minor League Baseball, and they also gave their approval.

Terry Bradshaw supports Eagles in anthem dispute with President

jets_097FOX News may be with the President and against the Eagles when it comes to the anthem dispute, but one of FOX’s primary NFL faces and voices supports the defending Super Bowl champions.

Terry Bradshaw, whose weekly FOX NFL Sunday duties will expand to Thursday Night Football in 2018, told TMZ while eating a meal in New York City (can’t they at least wait until these people are leaving the restaurant, like the old days?) that he supports the Eagles.

Which of course means that it’s just a matter of time until a Twitter account with more than 52.6 million followers will be declaring that the great Steelers teams of the ’70s would have won even more championships if they had a better quarterback. SAD!

Once he does, one of the players from the team has volunteered to accompany him to a chemo session. Linebacker Mark Herzlich fought his own battle with bone cancer while he was at Boston College and told Dan Duggan of The Athletic that he learned it’s helpful to have someone else come and be a distraction from actually doing it along with other tips he’s passing along to Gettleman.

I know how hard the feeling of first getting diagnosed is because you’re so nervous and scared about what’s going to happen, Herzlich said. I just wanted to let him know that I was here for him if he had any questions, little chemo tips that you learn along the way: Have a Jolly Rancher when you’re getting your IV in and put hot sauce on everything because it blinds the taste – little things like that. It’s a tough ordeal for him and for anyone who gets diagnosed.

Gettleman will also have his family around him as he gets treatment. Herzlich, who has been cancer-free for nine years, said that is an important part of a healing process that he’s confident will be successful because Gettleman has been a winner his entire life.

Bengals look forward to healthy Tyler Eifert and John Ross

jets_096At which positions are Bengals the least experienced in 2018?

The last thing the Bengals need is a key defender like Dunlap to be injured in an offseason workout, and the last thing Dunlap needs is such an injury in a contract year.

As for Kirkpatrick, it’s unclear what’s keeping him out of Cincinnati. He’s been present in Cincinnati for offseason workouts and was even helping out with the rookie minicamp, so this may just be a manner of him being busy and not in town for an optional practice.

With that, he heads out to his Jeep to fetch the charger, returns, plugs in his iPad and keeps working. Maybe Jamal Lewis has no clue what his life will become, but he’ll keep punching.

He locks eye contact. He wants one more message out there.

I’m taking this head on, he says.

The players returned to campus after Memorial Day weekend and, apparently, were thrown into the fire with some offense/defense competition.

The NCAA has specific rules about the football-offseason schedule. Like most college football programs, Rutgers divides its summer-conditioning program into two four-week sessions, with one week of student-athlete discretionary timein between.

Rutgers’ players will report back for their second four-week summer-conditioning session June 25, then have another week off before the 29-practice training camp begins in late July.

During the summer program, players can only be required to participate in conditioning, weight-training activities and review of game film for a maximum of eight hours per week.

RU’s Jawuan Harris: ‘The next Deion Sanders or Bo Jackson?’

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